A recent study revealed that 75% of successful career women who married a man with children would have made a different decision if they had a chance to do it over. The challenges facing blended families have long been the subject of Hollywood films, with step-parents usually depicted in a bad or evil light.
With the odds stacked against the step-parent tasked with raising someone else’s children, step-parents are often left feeling resentful and alone.
It is essential to recognize these feelings and to take a step back when needed.
Here are five practical ways to find peace when Step-Parent.
#1. Remember, it’s not a competition.
You are not there to compete with the kids. Yes, it can sometimes feel like you are on the periphery looking in, as the focus is not entirely upon you and your marriage. The twosome is no longer a YOUsome, and it can take years to adjust. However, this is entirely normal.
It might be counterintuitive, but encourage your spouse to spend time alone with their children and remember they are all dealing with this adjustment, too. You may find that as your step-kids get older, they will express gratitude for your understanding.
#2. Let the parents do the parenting.
It may be challenging to take a step back, but it’s wise to let your spouse and their ex-partner take charge of discipline and implementing rules for the children when it comes to field and implementing regulations for the children. It is not your job to interfere.
You can listen and guide, but do not task yourself with becoming overly involved. It may feel unnatural to let go of control, but once you remove this pressure, then the children will understand you are not trying to take the place of their other biological parent. This change in perception will make developing relationships easier for everyone.
#3. Take time for yourself.
Step-parents often get lost in the shuffle. They feel as though they are losing their identities, being tasked with significant responsibilities, and often receive very little to no recognition for all they do. Consequently, it is essential to remember to take care of yourself.
Do not redefine who you are just because you married someone with children. Nurture yourself and the qualities that made you attractive to your partner in the first place.
#4. Seek support
Your spouse may sometimes be defensive of the children, leaving you to fear that your feelings don’t matter and like your partner just doesn’t get it. There are many online resources for struggling with step-parenting, and there is no shame in asking for help.
Working through things with an objective therapist can be tremendously helpful for a couple—it will position you to be more effective in your relationship with one another and as the leaders of your blended family.
#5. Let it go
Finally, know that it’s okay to say no. Set limitations for yourself and your spouse when it comes to step-parenting expectations, and make sure your spouse communicates those limitations to the other parent. You may stumble, but you should not try to be all things to all people. Remember, Who won’t establish the perfect rhythm overnight.
Let the guilt go. Let the pressure go. Let the questions go. You’ll feel more accessible mode accessible, and the members of your “band” will want to join in harmony.
Also Read: 10 Common Mistakes Parents Make